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John Carroll Lynch

Film Review: Michael Keaton is a Man with a Brand in ‘The Founder’

CHICAGO – Michael Keaton is the real reason to see “The Founder” – it’s a movie that probably wouldn’t work at all without him. Keaton portrays Ray Kroc, the man who turned McDonald’s into a multinational fast food behemoth. But “The Founder” is an origin story of both the man and the brand…and Kroc is not the genius of American business he’s been made out to be.

Film Review: ‘Ted 2’ is a Funnier Film Than it Deserves to Be

CHICAGO – While it’s cruder and it can’t quite match the original “Ted,” “Ted 2” is still funnier than it has any right to be. It is unmistakably a Seth MacFarlane production, and there are a million reasons why this movie shouldn’t work, chief among them a plot that attempts to plop a foul mouthed talking teddy bear into a moralistic legal parable about civil rights. But I can’t deny I laughed throughout, almost despite myself.

Film Review: Guantanamo Bay Drama ‘Camp X-Ray’ With Kristen Stewart

Camp X-Ray, 2014

CHICAGO – The haunting setting of Guantanamo Bay is used for elementary emotional effect in “Camp X-Ray,” a prison drama electrified more by its performances than its hopes of a profound narrative about the interactions between gatekeeper and captive.

TV Review: NBC Stumbles on Thursdays Again with ‘Do No Harm’

CHICAGO – What do “Prime Suspect,” “Awake,” and “Rock Center” have in common? They’ve all aired in what was once the most beloved timeslots on network TV — Thursday nights on NBC.

TV Review: ABC’s Disappointing ‘Body of Proof’ With Dana Delany

Body of Proof S2

CHICAGO – I had some serious issues with the first-season premiere of “Body of Proof,” a modest hit for ABC that they’ve decided to give another shot at developing into a major one with a second season. Having not watched an episode since Matt Fagerholm’s 2-star review (one which I agreed with wholeheartedly and echoed on my weekly WGN-AM radio segment), I was curious to see if they had fixed the problems with the show. Would tonight’s season-two premiere be an overhauled, new-and-improved version of what we watched six months ago? Nope.

TV Review: Despite Dana Delany, ‘Body of Proof’ Proves Dead on Arrival

CHICAGO – Meet Megan Hunt. On second thought, don’t. In fact, avoid her like the plague. If you see her walking toward you, make sure to cross the street or dive into the next room. The woman needs space, you see. She’s been through a lot.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Shutter Island’ Looks Amazing, But Deserved Better Release

Shutter Island

CHICAGO – I firmly believe that the detractors of Martin Scorsese’s amazing “Shutter Island” will deny they ever criticized this masterful thriller when it was first released. History will be very kind to this dizzying trip through a cinematic funhouse led by arguably our best living filmmaker, but one would never guess it from Paramount’s purely average Blu-ray release.

Take Trip to Riveting ‘Shutter Island’ With Leonardo DiCaprio

CHICAGO – “Shutter Island” is a riveting trip through a cinematic funhouse led by one of the best filmmakers of all time in Martin Scorsese, who fully employs the copious skills of his most talented collaborators including star Leonardo DiCaprio.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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